How to Become a Health and Safety Manager

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If you are a detail-oriented individual, who loves helping people and wants a rewarding career with growth potential, you may wish to become a health and safety manager. Health and safety managers are needed in a variety of industries, from health care to construction. Depending on the field of choice, a health and safety manager may handle everything from keeping records on the handling of hazardous waste to training employees in safety procedures. Read on to learn more.

Things You'll Need

  • Resume
  • Certified safety professional (CSP) exam certificate
  • Cover letter
  • ABET-accredited education program degree

Educate Yourself to Become a Health and Safety Manager

  • Complete as many science and math classes as possible while you're still in high school. Work with your guidance counselor to develop the course outline and schedule that is most conducive to preparing you for a science and math-based college program.

  • Select a college or university that is recognized by the Accredited Board for Engineering and Technology (ABET).

  • Obtain a bachelor's degree in occupational health and safety or a related field, preferably with a subspecialty like physical science. Engineering degrees are also desirable to companies that employ health and safety managers.

  • Enroll in a master's degree program to increase your odds of becoming a health and safety manager. Some companies, including government agencies, require a master's degree. Many post-degree programs make it possible to work in the field while earning your degree, giving you experience for becoming a manager when you are done with school.

Become a Health and Safety Manager

  • Prepare to continue your education once you become a health and safety manager. Retraining courses and new informational workshops will be required by most companies to keep you up to date on health and safety codes. Unless you are working as an independent contractor, many companies will pay most, if not all, of the tuition/attendance fees for such courses.

  • Take the Certified Safety Professional (CSP) examination once you have completed an ABET-accredited education program. While not all companies require this certification for employment, it can increase your likelihood of advancing to health and safety manager.

Tips & Warnings

  • Look for vacancies with government agencies, as about half of all health and safety specialists are employed by them.
  • Attain an advanced degree, such as a master's degree or doctorate, if you wish to teach and train students to become health and safety technicians and managers.

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